I am scheduled for cataract surgery on one eye. My doctor will not do the surgery unless I have someone drive me to the hospital and provide care for one night. Any suggestions?

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Stay with me during the surgery, drive me home, stay with me over night in my home ( One Night ) and drive me to and from the doctors office the next day to ensure there is no infection in my eye or other problem. I am 71 years old on Original Medicare. Is there a bonded Senior Care Agency that can provide these services?

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I faced the same situation when my opthalmologist advised I needed cataract surgery in both eyes. So I did some research.

The local public transit authority has a paratransit, or "small bus" service that would take me to and from the surgical center if it was w/I ten miles of the pickup point (my house). The cost then was $1.00. Can't beat that!

However, I didn't need or want anyone to stay with me - I would still have had the existing vision in the other eye. An overnight helper changes the dynamics.

If you live in an area where you can trust people (I don't), you could contact your local senior center and see if there are any helpers who could either provide transportation or overnight assistance at home. I don't think that there is any screening involved with volunteers through senior centers, so you could be taking a chance with someone you don't know.

As to transit only, there are also various services, such as the "ambulettes", which could take you to the surgical center and back, but you'd still be facing the issue of overnight care. The ambulettes and similar services used to run about $40 one way.

I recently found a veteran's ambulette service, but the mileage was over $3/per mile, which I thought was exorbitant. And there's also a flat rate for the trip, which was also high.

Some counties have lists of/links to senior services; trying that is another option.

If you have to hire one of the private duty companies, you'd probably have to sign a contract, and would likely get someone of their choice. I just went through that; even though I hired an agency with a good reputation, two out of the three people provided didn't meet basic standards. One was so bad I let her go early just to get her out of the house.

Also, as Barb suggested, ask your opthalomologist who's performing the surgery; I'm sure they've encountered this before. Usually there's a person who"boards" (schedules) surgery who makes these kinds of arrangements for patients.

Do you have any friends or relatives who could stay with you?
If you don't have a friend or neighbor who can do this, I'd call the local Area Agency on Aging and ask if they have a suggestion. Did you ask at the doctors office staff for suggestions? They must deal with this all the time.

Another idea is, if there is a university nearby with a school of nursing, you might be able to hire a couple of RNs in training to help, they could work in shifts so as not to miss class time.

Isolation isn't good for us as we age. Do you belong to a Senior Center? Look into that. They can be a good source of help for just this kind of situation.
My time will be just around the corner for cataract surgery. If I was alone, I would probably call the caregiving Agency that I had used for my Dad to help me, as I could budget such cost. Plus the Agency was licensed, insured, and bonded. But the cost is expensive.

I probably would schedule the schedule the surgery around the availability of the two caregivers that Dad used. Just having someone in the house after such a procedure can give one a sense of safety.
I recently had to have a procedure and needed companion for the wife while I was not available. I scheduled a companion for twelve hours at $18.00/hr plus mileage.. The companion drove us to the hospital and the second one drove us home. They took care of the wife and the nurses took care of me.
Had to go this route because of the lack of friends and the wife not allowed to drive.
Around here the docs will not do the procedure unless there is someone present the whole time. No taxis, no public transportation.
Can you disclose your town.
Then we can see what services are in that neighborhood.
When you have any type of outpatient surgery, you are given sedation; so that is why you cannot drive home. And you cannot really call a dial a ride service; the hospital wants to know that you have a "responsible party" not just provide the ride, but check in on you to make sure you don't have any complications. You don't need a senior care specialist; you can contract with any local home nursing agency; and they can provide a nurses aide to drive you home, and stay with you overnight. Person does not have to be an RN, a neighbor or family member could do it; so you don't need skilled care.
The reason they want someone with you overnight is because of the anesthesia issues related to iv sedation that they use during surgery. Even in my 50's I have to have my husband drive me to and from my colonoscopies because there is a post surgery amnesia and people aren't capable of performing important functions which they will remember-no legal documents signing, etc. The older we are the longer the anesthesia takes to clear our systems but it's generally from about 12-24 hours. There can be real vulnerability and unwise decisions made because of sleepiness and forgetfulness associated.

Older people are notoriously taken advantage of by scammers and such, even taxi drivers and those wanting to fleece the unsuspecting. It's physical, legal and financial safety they are trying to protect you from. Hoping the surgery goes well like it did for my mom.
GA,
I understand not wanting someone in the house but, I think the reason the docs want someone with you is that, if you have a cataract in one eye, it's likely that you have one in the other eye too.
It's hard enough to see through 2 "foggy" eyes but its even worse to see at night with one eye bandaged. It's a risk of a fall ready to happen, especially if the person is already unsteady and/or uses a cane or walker.

Another one of those,"It's for your own good." situations.
Just my 2 pesos.
I'm considering volunteering for situations such as this. Not sure who to call, but I think there are a couple of senior centers and inner-city community centers in the major metro area I'm nearest to.
I had an outpatient surgery a few years ago and arranged for a taxi service to take me both ways. I explained the situation, they said that they give these sorts of rides often and sent a discreet female driver. The doctor's office said to have someone with me the first night but I didn't want that and was fine alone. They advise this in case you you have any adverse effects and for their own legal protection. It doesn't mean you're really going to need overnight care.

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